Title: Breathe
Author: Miranda
Rating: G
Category: SHR
Spoilers: Alone (missing scene)
Disclaimer: It all belongs to Chris Carter.

Summary: Mulder and Scully's experience with Lamaze class.

I am having trouble not laughing aloud.

I called Mulder last night, and asked him if he would be my partner for lamaze. He readily agreed, glad for the diversion since his schedule isn't very full these days. I think now he's having second thoughts.

He just gave me the most disgusted look I've ever seen, and actually shuddered. We are sitting on the floor of the hospital conference room where lamaze class is held. The lights are out, and all eyes are focused on the video we are being made to watch. The video of a birth.

At first it was sugary sweet, with a loving husband doting over his barely laboring wife. Now she is screaming at the top of her lungs and squeezing the life out of her partner's hand. Blood seems to be oozing from everywhere, and a head the size of a watermelon is trying to poke its way through a ridiculously small opening. I look around at the various couples, and all are being affected by the gore. I see a wife look at her husband and whisper loudly that she is not going through that, that she will take the drugs after seeing this. Another young man seems about to be sick. Then my eyes return to Mulder. He is looking at me again.

"Scully, are you sure you want to go through with this?" he asks in disbelief. I smirk.

"I think it's a little late to be asking that question, don't you?" I murmur quietly.

"Yeah, but without drugs? May I ask why?" I can see the fear on his face. He's afraid that since he's here doing this lamaze with me that he is going to be that man with the hand being squeezed off.

"Mulder, you've seen so much gore in the years you were in the X-Files. Why does this bother you so much?" I chuckled, trying to keep my voice soft.

"I don't know. Probably because it's you I have to watch go through it."

We return our attention to the movie. It is gross. And if I were to be completely honest I'd have to admit that though I am a doctor who has seen the worst that could be done to a human body, I still don't like the idea of pushing this child out without something to deaden the pain.

But the sensible, practical side of my nature assures me that when this child does decide it is time to come in the world, I may not have the comfort of drugs anyway. Knowing my luck over the past eight years, I may be in the frozen Antarctic plains or the back of some cave, but statistics tell me I probably won't be gazing happily into Mulder's eyes in a nice warm hospital bed with lovely drugs dripping into my bloodstream when the time comes to give birth. So I'm taking lamaze. I might as well know how to breathe.

The movie is soon over and the instructor tells us to lay back on our partners and relax. They are told to start massaging our arms or shoulders, whatever feels good. Mulder arranges his legs around me and fluffs the pillow under my head, then gently starts rubbing my arms in a calming circular motion. It feels like heaven. Too bad birth can't feel this good.

I do as I'm told with my breathing. In through the nose, out through the mouth. I breathe short little breaths through an imaginary contraction. But all I can feel is the tenderness in Mulder's fingertips.

"Do you like that?" he asks in a low voice. He begins to work my shoulders with his fingers, with such a perfect blend of firmness and gentleness. If I could do this during birth I might not even notice what happened.

"More than I can describe." My words slur with relaxation. I feel his smile.

"I'm glad I can make you comfortable." He nods sincerely. "I will do everything I can to make you comfortable when the time comes as well." His voice is determined now. I smile and open my eyes, staring up into his deep hazel ones.

"I know you will. Thank you."

So I rest, and breathe. For this moment between us and this unborn child will never come again, and I want to remember it for the rest of my life, come what may. I feel a soft kiss on my forehead and I am reminded that though I may not be medicated from the pain, I will never be alone, as long as he is here.

"Just breathe, Scully."

The End.

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